Neil Gaiman on Where Good Ideas Come From

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In an excerpt from a Q&A with Neil Gaiman via the Wheeler Center in December 2011, famed graphic novel writer and novelist Neil Gaiman discusses where good ideas come from. The question has plagued artists and psychologists for ages and Maria Popova from opens up the dialogue once more in reference Gaiman's video interview here. Popova quotes Gaiman with regards to how good ideas often come when you're doing something else and seem to appear in confluence:

For me, inspiration comes from a bunch of places: desperation, deadlines… A lot of times ideas will turn up when you’re doing something else. And, most of all, ideas come from confluence — they come from two things flowing together. They come, essentially, from daydreaming. . . . And I suspect that’s something every human being does. Writers tend to train themselves to notice when they’ve had an idea — it’s not that they have any more ideas or get inspired more than anything else; we just notice when it happens a little bit more.


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 March 2015 09:11

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142 Behind-The-Scenes Photos of the Miniature World that Gave Life to Blade Runner

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Cropped photographs of props and miniature sets from the team behind Ridley Scott's Blade Runner film.


A significant number of photographs have recently been released online of the handmade props and miniature sets from Ridley Scott's massively successful Blade Runner movie. In the past, filmmakers didn't have the luxury of high-end CGI and computer-generated special effects and the result was a number of collaborations with some of the movie industry's most talented artists and miniature set designers. Welcome to the incredible world of late 70s and early 80s science fiction. 


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Last Updated on Monday, 30 March 2015 09:19

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Security and Cartooning After Charlie Hebdo

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Left: Cropped photograph by Markus Schreiber of a female protester outside the French embassy in Berlin where 7000 people stood in solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Right: Cropped political cartoon by the Star Tribune political cartoonist, Steve Sack.


Star Tribune writer and columnist Josh Rash recently wrote an article regarding the attendance of the newspaper's Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist, Steve Sack, of a keynote panel at the College Media Association convention in New York with three fellow cartoonists. Over 600 students and faculty members were in attendance including, surprisingly, an unconfirmed number of NYPD officers and eight security guards at the cost of 4000 Dollars. After the notorious Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris a few months back where 12 cartoonists and staff members of a satirical cartooning newspaper where shot and murdered, it seems to be clear that the attacks have had a significant impact on journalism, art and the profession of cartooning, according to Rash. Rash spoke to one of the panelists, cartoonist Daryl Cagle, whom he quoted in the article:


There is renewed interest and concern about this constraint on our freedom of the press in light of the attacks. It’s grim, because the terrorists win. And they make dealing with cartoonists expensive, a hassle and a concern, and it’s had a real impact on our business.


Click here to read the full article in the Star Tribune.

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Last Updated on Monday, 23 March 2015 11:20

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Right to Know Red Flags Film and Publications Board’s Proposed Online Regulation Policy

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South African Civil rights group famous for lobbying against the proposed Secrecy Bill, Right2Know, recently released an official statement condemning the Film and Publications Board’s gazetted proposals that potentially seek to censor particular online content including any film, game, or publication published on social media, personal blogs and or websites. The document states:


Any person who intends to distribute any film, game, or certain publication in the Republic of South Africa shall first comply with section 18(1) of the [1996 Films and Publications] Act by applying, in the prescribed manner, for registration as film or game and publications distributor.

Right to Know included in their press statement a reference to the impracticality of the proposed bill:

According to the document, anyone wishing to publish or distribute content will have to first apply for a digital publisher’s online distribution agreement with the FPB, which will require a subscription fee. Once paid, the publisher would have to submit the content to the FPB for classification prior to publishing. This effectively is a specific form of pre-publication censorship, which is not acceptable.

Click here to view the article on the Right to Know website and to read the proposed bill.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 09:10

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Free Comic Book Day at Reader's Den, Cape Town Set to be the Biggest Yet

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International Free Comic Book Day - or FCBD - has generated massive interest in recent years, particularly in South Africa since it's first inception in 2002 at the Reader's Den comic book and merchandise store in Cape Town, the country's first dedicated comic book shop. This year promises to be the biggest event yet with more than 5.6 million free comic books to be made available internationally on the day of the event, May 2, 2015. Comic book publishing powerhouses, Dark Horse Comics, DC Entertainment, IDW Publishing, Image Comics and Marvel Comics are among the many sponsors offering 50 special comic book titles on the day of this year's event, which is scheduled to take place the day after the opening of Marvel’s Avengers, Age of Ultron film. Tables have also been made available to local South African artists who wish to sell their comics on the day so get onto the Reader's Den website to register as soon as possible. The Reader's Den have also also made a special announcement for cosplay aficionados in Cape Town:

Free Comic Book Day is on Saturday 2 May 2015, and cosplay is a big part of the event ! After evaluating last year's cosplay activities, we are making some changes to make the 2015 event even better...The main event will be a Cosplay Masquerade, where participants may simply enter by registering their name and character just before the event and then get a chance to pose on stage to have their official photo taken, with spot prizes given to outstanding costumes. The only rules are : basic registration on the day, costumes must be from the world of pop culture (comics, anime, gaming, movies & TV).

Click here for more information on FCBD at Reader's Den.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 March 2015 17:31

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